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University introduces new shuttle

Loading upA partnership between Lamar University’s Disability Resource Center (DRC) and Police Department (LUPD) has resulted in the addition of a new, accessible shuttle on campus.

“The accessible shuttle is a first for Lamar University because it has a lift that allows people with physical disabilities to have an opportunity to use the university’s student shuttle service along with other students,” said Kyle Mutz, director of the DRC.

“For the first time, students with disabilities are able to ride with their friends and have an equal experience in using this service,” he said.

The new shuttle is one of the many additions the university has made to provide greater accessibility on campus. It also aligns with the goals of the newly named Division of Global Diversity, Inclusion, and Intercultural Affairs, Mutz said.

BusWhen the Disability Resource Center recognized the need for greater accessibility in transportation, they saw the new shuttle as an opportunity to achieve it. The DRC then worked with LUPD and administration to set the plan in motion.

“When I started my role as director of the Disability Resource Center, I noticed that the student shuttles had no lift or access for someone with a physical disability. Shortly after, our office began to receive feedback, which greatly supported the need for the new shuttle,” said Mutz.

Mutz and Hector Flores, chief of LUPD, collaborated to design the shuttle’s weekly campus route to various buildings, giving university members the option of riding instead of walking long distances. The shuttle, a 12-passenger mini-bus, serves students, faculty and staff. LU’s police department services and does maintenance for the shuttles and provides drivers.

Bus“We’ve always wanted our services to be compliant with the Americans with Disabilities act, but we only recently had the opportunity to expand to transportation. Kyle saw that the demand was growing for the use of shuttles, so when they added a bus, we made sure it met all qualifications,” said Flores.

Flores says that the university’s effort to accommodate those with disabilities demonstrates LU’s commitment to serving its community, and it aligns with LUPD’s goal to provide for everyone as safely as possible.

“I believe it is only the start of what our office and the university hopes to accomplish in developing an atmosphere of inclusion. By having accessibility intertwined in every facet of Lamar, we set a precedent where every student can feel included and engaged in what the campus community has to offer,” said Mutz.